A fan’s imagination is an expansive and never-ending place, full of theories, ideas, and love for their favorite characters. Out of that imagination sometimes comes tangible pieces of art that get shared with other fans, and through the power of the internet, sometimes get mistaken for real professional work. These labors of love make for a fun way to express one’s joy for their beloved characters and the DC fan art community is full of such pieces. From homages of classic moments, to re-imaginings of favorite characters, and the oh so popular art of shipping couples, there’s plenty of fan art to admire and share.
Yet, not all fan art available on the internet is exactly wholesome. Some are strange interpretations of your favorite characters, or bizarre mashups that might haunt your dreams. Creating disturbing imagery, often more disturbing than the most bizarre situations in comics, is a large niche of the DC fan community. Enticing the more curious part of the brain, answering your weird what if questions, and visualizing some of those thoughts you might not want to say out loud. So, for your viewing pleasure, we collected 16 pieces of the most disturbing DC fan art.
16. PREDATOR PENGUIN
Penguins aren’t all that violent. They aren’t even birds of prey! And yet, Oswald Cobblepot commits numerous acts of violence all while using the moniker The Penguin. While arguably not one of Batman’s more sadistic rouges in the comics (he’s more of a cutthroat businessman), Penguin has caused plenty of trouble for The Dark Knight over the past 75 years, murdering plenty of people along the way. Now imagine, if you can, Penguin as the actual Predator.
That’s exactly what artist Dushan Silva created with this mashup seemingly between The Penguin and the Predator from the now iconic sci-fi franchise. Oswald retains his signature short and pudgy stature, with his umbrella in tow of course, but gets the horrifying visage of the Predator without his mask. Penguin has the signature gigantic jaw, but instead of purely a monster-esque mouth, Penguin flashes all of his pearly whites in this piece. This drawing becomes even more disturbing when one imagines that face roaming through the streets of Gotham, hunting its prey. The Bat family, in this case, would definitely be ousted as the top predator in the food chain of Gotham.
15. SLASHER FLICK BATMAN
Batman is a creature of the night; after all, criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot, so most of his iconic imagery is directly linked to that of a monster swooping in for its prey. So, when Batman is depicted as something like a killer from your favorite slasher flick, it isn’t that far of a leap. However, this piece amps up the slasher portrayal of Batman by not only going all out, but giving us a victim in the form of fellow good guy, Supergirl.
Artist Augustinas Kwa Hong Yen puts Supergirl in the all too familiar position of sitting alone in the dark watching your favorite horror film, too afraid to turn around and see the killer right behind you. Unfortunately for Kara, the killer is Batman, but with a jack o’ lantern on his head in some weird homage to Halloween 3: The Season of the Witch maybe?
14. MARTIAN BABYHUNTER
Jon Jones, aka Martian Manhunter, is arguably the heart and soul of the JLA; a nice guy looking out for his adopted home world of Earth. He’s like your favorite uncle that fills in for your parents when you’re acting out at them, and has made for a great surrogate father to Miss Martian. That is why this piece from internet sensation “Dragonarte” really skeeves us out. Yes, babies can be terrifying little creatures, and yes a baby with shape-shifting powers might freak out at first, but one would hope Jon could handle it.
Instead, in this piece, he proudly looks on as his offspring grows tentacles and terrorizes the other children, like some sort of sea creature. The piece feels even more disturbing due to the newspaper cartoon style to it all, while depicting something that would be horrifying in the pages of a comic book. The tongue-in-cheek tone evokes more of a nervous laugh than a full on hearty one.
Yeah, it’s hard to make up words about this one. Artist renditions of animals as superheroes is a time-honored tradition; heck, even Superman has a super-pet in the form of Krypto… but a Manatee? That’s just a bizarre choice. Artist Joel Micah Harris has a whole collection of DC superheroes as Manatees, but this Supermanatee one is the strangest. In a “we can’t stop looking at it” kinda way.
Manatees are the funny looking cousins of other sea mammals, like the walrus or sea lion, so an Aqua-Manatee would make sense. A manatee that stands for truth, justice, and the American Way with a curl in the front just doesn’t make much sense. It makes you ask questions, though, like… how long can he fly before going back in the water? Or, how was he raised in Kansas, a land-locked state? It is truly perplexing, and his origin story is a movie that might just need to be made. Manatee of Steel has a nice ring to it!
12. THE MAIN MAN DOESN’T LIKE HIS FANS
There is nothing else that Lobo loves more than himself, besides maybe violence and murder. Since his first appearance in Omega Men #3, Lobo has scoured the DC Universe for bounties to make a living off of, as well as opponents to make a name for himself. Along the way, he has killed plenty of people. This piece certainly highlights the high body count that follows Lobo around. In color, this is not exactly a PG piece.
Now take a closer look at the decapitated head. Tattooed across the forehead is the word, “fanboy.” Whatever the beef between the main main and this DC fan, it did not end well for the latter. It’s also disturbing to think about this piece as some sort of threat to fanboys, defy DC and the main man will collect your head, bounty or not. The artist also seems to harbor some not so fuzzy feelings for (fellow?) fanboys.
11. PUNISHER: THE DEATH OF MA PALMER
The Punisher isn’t afraid to tangle with other superheroes if they get in the way of his mission, and if they cross the line he won’t hesitate to execute them. In this piece, Atom, aka Ray Palmer, has apparently drawn the ire of the Punisher from across the multiverse and Frank has strapped him to a grenade while poor Ray is shrunken. Imagining Ray Palmer exploding while down to size is a harrowing image, but this piece is also an homage to a classic cover from the Marvel Knights Punisher Warzone arc, The Resurrection of Ma Gnnuci.
Created by one of the best creative teams to ever work on Punisher, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon brought back their self-created villain Ma Gnnuci to confront Frank Castle once again. It’s a good story, and disturbing in its own right, but the cover sticks out more for obvious reasons. In this piece, however, the grave is marked for poor Ray Palmer, and it’s hard to make a case for a possible resurrection when you’re attached to the grenade hurtling to your literal grave.
10. JOKER THE HUTT
Joker is a vile, murderous and sadistic villain. Jabba the Hutt is also a vile, murderous and sadistic villain. So what kind of villain would a mashup between the two be? Well, at the very least, it’s disgusting and fairly horrifying to look at. From the mind of Blake Henriksen comes a cross between the Joker and Jabba the Hutt, where the iconic slug-like crime lord puts on the Joker makeup, making his smile pop in a gruesome way. Along with the make-up, we get Harley Quinn, in her own rendition of Leia’s episode six outfit, but unlike Leia, Harley seems fine being subservient to Joker.
Also, she’s open to welcoming Slaccious Crumb to their crew, Jabba’s disgusting rodent-like pet. To make Slaccious Crumb even more disgusting, Henriksen put Joker type makeup on his face, too. Together, they make a version of the Clown Prince of Crime’s family that is more repulsive than sinister, even though it’s high quality art. What makes it that much more disturbing is that something so repulsive is simultaneously beautiful.
9. THE WALKING MAN OF STEEL
Within horror there is no monster more iconic, and more popular at the moment than zombies. They represent everyone’s ultimate fear: death. Death is an inescapable truth, everyone dies, but zombies become terrifying, because they are physical manifestations of that truth always shambling toward you, beckoning you to join them. Now mix that with the most iconic superhero, who stands for truth and hope in life, and you get a depressing new zombie.
We say depressing, because imagining Superman as a zombie shambling through Metropolis looking to eat the flesh of the people he was sworn to protect is in no way a happy thought. This is the feeling that artist Dave Devires creates here. Supes makes for a particular grotesque zombie, and in this piece, he looks like he finished eating Jimmy Olsen. His glowing red eyes also indicate he might have retained his powers in his new “life” as a zombie, which would make for an awfully difficult monster to deal with.
8. BEETLEBAT, BEETLEBAT, BEETLEBAT
All you have to do is say his name three times and there he is, ready to terrorize Gotham for his twisted pleasure and hopes of becoming a free spirit. Watch out single women of Gotham, Beetlebat is looking for a marriage to take this bat out of hell. It’s hard to look past the irony of this piece, seeing as Michael Keaton played both Beetlejuice and the Caped Crusader, and it’s harder to ignore the bizarre shenanigans Beetlejuice would get into as Batman.
It’s strange that Keaton Beetlejuice and Keaton Batman fan art mashups are not present in higher volume. The type of twisted, dangerous humor of Beetlejuice reflects that of the Joker, with a supernatural bent unique to him. Batman entering the mad mind of Beetlejuice would be a scenario resulting in some disturbing scenes for Bats, and could only be directed by Keaton’s longtime collaborator Tim Burton. Burton directed Keaton in both Beetlejuice and Batman, so he would be perfect to create a movie that meshed these two roles in the weirdest way possible.
7. BAT-CAT AND HIS LITTER
For the lone hero of the DCU, Batman sure has a long list of allies and one big “Bat-family.” As the patriarch of the vigilantes in Gotham, Batman has a responsibility to guide and protect the young heroes that inhabit Gotham. Of course, he often does this like a drill sergeant more than a parent, but all the Robins throughout history know that Batman is a big teddy bear deep down, and loves his Bat-family.
In this piece, Batman as a parental figure is the highlight, but not in a way you would have imagined. Here, Batman is a cat (making him Bat-Cat?) and his Robins are his litter. One tries to get away — let’s assume Jason since he was always rebellious — and Batman picks him up like a mother cat would, returning Robin to the safety of his bosom. Its a disturbingly bizarre scene, but also kind of adorable?
6. YOUNG JUSTICE “SNEAK PEEK”
Young Justice season three is fast approaching, and everyone is clamoring for a look at the new season featuring everyone’s favorite sidekicks. While San-Diego comic-con had a nice teaser in the form of some character reveals, from the artist known as doubleleaf, we have a very different kind of sneak peek of Young Justice. The viewer of this piece gets to walk in on Aqualad, Robin, Kid Flash, and Superboy taking a bathroom break, and on the other side of the stall is Miss Martian and Artemis getting their own peep show.
Now, we’re sure they played plenty of pranks on one another in Mount Justice, but this is pretty odd, even by superhero teenager standards. Furthermore, considering they’re supposed to pretty much be a family, this is disturbing on even more levels. Family can be far more comfortable with one another, but a peep show in the bathroom is something else entirely.
5. FURRY TITANS GO!
The Teen Titans — specifically the 2003 animated versions of them — are the subject of a large portion of the DC fan art community. There is a lot of art portraying the various couples that formed, or didn’t form on the show, retelling of fun jokes, etc. There is, of course, a contingent of these pieces that are sexual in a specific type of fetish. So, on top of Starfire and Raven showing what they got in this piece, Ricken-art adds a furry flavor to the two best friends’ (at least if you asked Starfire) relationship.
Seemingly, the two young heroes aren’t playing dress up, but are actually part animal here. Starfire is part cat and Raven is part bunny, which is disturbing enough, seeing as Raven would hate anything remotely cute and cuddly. This also brings up the question that you don’t want to say out loud, what would the other Titans look like as furry-like heroes?
4. HARLEY’S UNDEAD REVENGE
A zombie mash-up once again finds its way on the list, but this one is much more sinister and involves a villain already prone to killing people. However, Harley’s undead rage is turned on her life-long tormentor Joker, in gory detail.
This is the second decapitation on this list, but the piece is focused on Joker’s head, so you don’t get to ignore the gore dripping from Joker’s neck while Harley smiles behind it all. The violence in this piece is up there and in your face, in a way even DC’s most disturbing event comic Blackest Night couldn’t be. We should also mention that Harley as a zombie retained enough motor skills to use a knife, that’s a no-win scenario for anyone that comes across her.
3. A ROUGES GALLERY OF PUPPETS
There’s a reason Batman and his many enemies and allies make it on this list of disturbing fan art. Not only is his sphere of the DC universe the most exposed to people, but it is also full of disturbing characters in its own right. So, when the twisted world of Gotham meets some of the internet’s most creative and interesting fans, you get a plethora of images like this interpretation of Batman’s rouges gallery as puppets. Not just ordinary puppets, mind you, but those creepy puppets that you might see in a Tim Burton movie, or on sale at a Party City as a Halloween decoration.
Included in this re-imagining are the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder, along with Joker, Harley Quinn, Penguin, Two-Face, Scarecrow and Mr. Freeze. They all have a creepy look of indifference on their face while you probably look at them in bewilderment, wondering why their lopsided eyes send a chill down your spine.
Take a wholesome Disney character, mix them with Harley Quinn, sprinkle some laughing dust on and you have the recipe for childhood nightmare fuel. In this cross between Tinker Bell and Harley Quinn, you get an image bound to upset any child, and make you doubt your belief in fairies just so Tinker-Quinn might cease to exist.
The minute you lay eyes on this mash-up from hell, you can’t help but imagine this psychotic pixie corrupting the lost boys’ minds, or murdering Wendy for getting in between her and her puddin. It also means there has to be a Peter-Joker fan piece out there, right? Harley without her Joker isn’t uncommon, but Tinker Bell without Peter Pan is less so. That fan art piece is probably out there, or might as well be made to complete this childhood ruin!
The final entry on this list is by far the most disturbing piece of fan art here, and perhaps out on the internet. It’s also really funny in a “I can’t believe that’s real” way. From Axel Medelin comes a piece where, for better or worse, we get to witness the Joker in Leia’s controversial Return of the Jedi bikini outfit.
There’s an awful lot of pale, translucent white skin showing and we can’t help but sympathize with Darth Vader when he says, “I find your lack of clothes disturbing.” Joker’s reply is what ultimately makes this piece the most disturbing of the bunch when he replies, “Oh smile Daddy! Why so Sith?” Yup, you read that right. Joker called Darth Vader daddy all while rocking a slave bikini, making a bad joke to boot. Try forgetting that image, if it isn’t already seared into your conscious forever.
Have you seen any other examples of disturbing DC fan art? Let us know in the comments!
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